walking the marathon distance

for a while now, we’ve been following a youtube channel from a guy called beau miles. beau is very much into “backyard adventures”, a concept that i find fascinating — why do adventures need to be big and require huge planning and logistics? why do we feel like we need to go halfway across the country or the world in order to have an adventure, when there’s plenty of adventuring that can be had right around the corner? the pandemic made the whole idea seem even more attractive to me, and we ran with it… so to speak. more like we walked with it.

the goal of this adventure was to see if we could walk the marathon distance. turns out, between our town and the outer skirts of faro is a few meters over 42 kms on paper, so that seemed perfect — let’s walk to faro! the only issue with this plan is we were a bit short on daylight to complete the walk in december (which is when we did it), and the last stretch of it would be practically just walking on the road’s curb… which on the N125 means cars zooming by a couple of meters away at unsafe speeds. :( still, we decided to go for it, making up for the lack of daylight with an extra early wake up call.

which is perfect, because for me, the proper feeling of an adventure comes only if they start before the day dawns. so we got up really early, donned our little dorky headlamps and off we went through the salt ponds! the sun came up as we were reaching santa luzia and it was pretty magical to see. we sat down at a café there and had breakfast and a rest.

we repeated this walking + café breaks throughout the day, eating sandwiches and bolas de berlim, and powering through. many birds were spotted, conversations were had, new scenic spots were discovered that we want to go back to and check out again. walking is so easy, and yet so nice — just one foot in front of the other, again and again, until you get to where you’re going. i really enjoy the long walks, boring stretches and all.

blister packs are usually the thing that saves my poor little feet on long walks, but after so many kilometers, it would take a miracle to finish without any little pockets of pain. when we reached the train station in faro after many kms of walking, it felt like every little muscle hurt… but every little muscle was very happy too!

with this long walk, we’ve walked the portuguese coast all the way from vila real de santo antónio to faro and then from lagos to sagres, and from there turning north to porto covo, which is already a significant part of it! maybe one day we’ll continue the adventure and complete the walk all the way to caminha… that would be an adventure!


CTM PR8 caminho da amendoeira

some pictures from the picturesque PR8, a 11km circular trail around alta mora that goes through some hills with almond trees. it’s perfect to visit this time of the year!

the first time we did this trail some years ago with friends, the ribeira do beliche had so much water we had to take our shoes and pants off to cross it… not this time. the extent of the drought in the region in getting scary, and there’s no end in sight to it. :(

analogue wednesdays

analogue wednesday #270

cooling down the feet after a long walk.

algarving in portugal

the campervan trip

we watched nomadland sometime ago, and it made me think back to our own campervan trip in november last year, and all the other things i haven’t written about on the blog yet. well, no time like now, right?

we’d been meaning to do a campervan trip for a few years already — it was even on my previous 101 list! they’re a bit expensive to rent… but on the other hand, it’s like taking your home with you on a holiday — and in the middle of a pandemic, that seemed like a reasonably safe option for a short getaway. so we booked one for a few days last year and off we went!

i had never been inside of one, but it’s actually pretty nice and the space is all neatly optimized (these guys did a good tour of the van and its features).

before trying it out, i was a bit concerned about whether we’d be comfortable sleeping there, but it wasn’t nearly as uncomfortable as i had imagined… though on the last day we parked on a bit of a slope which definitely didn’t help! otherwise, everything was rather straightforward and easy enough, even the water/electrical bits. we made decaf and cooked simple meals, gave the shower a try, and also tried staying at different camping grounds, which we had all to ourselves that late in the season.

for the most part, the plan was to go visit our favourite spots in the southwest coast and alentejo, do a bit of hiking and birdwatching and just chill, away from everyone. the weather was nice and sunny, so we took our time lazily driving around and checking out some trails we had long bookmarked. one was a really easy circular path around the barão de são joão, which featured nice views, stone pine woods and lots of sculptures mixed in.

we checked out the abetardas trail, and did the scenic route through the cliffs. the southwest coast was still as beautiful as we remembered it, and after such an intense year, we really needed those blue skies and salty air to recharge.

we enjoyed the experience and will probably repeat it at some point – maybe even upgrade to a van with solar panels! :)

in azores

hiking ladeira dos moinhos

one of the last hikes in the island was the PRC8PIC in s. roque, on the north coast of pico. it’s famed for the many water mills that line the path up the hill, though of those only the outer structure remains. still, the walk and the views are really nice. parts of the trail go through sunken paths where cows peek at us from above, or river beds of volcanic rocks softened by water and rolling stones. a nice, quick walk to stretch and remove some of the soreness from our tired legs, after climbing pico.

and i think that’s it for the pico adventures! these were some magical 2 weeks in the land of volcanoes, and i can’t wait to one day go back and explore some more. :)